Two Skier Mishaps at Gore Mountain on Feb. 20

By AlpineZone News |
Feb 21 2006 - 10:08 AM

NORTH CREEK, New York ??” Gore Mountain, operated by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), reported two separate skier incidents that occurred Monday morning.

The first, at approximately 9:12 AM, resulted in the death of 56 year old Michael P. FitzGibbons of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who went off the Lies trail, while the second mishap, at 11:20 AM, saw a 15 year old male suffer head trauma on the Cloud trail. Both skiers were wearing helmets at the time.

In the case of Mr. FitzGibbons, Gore Mountain Ski Patrol, Johnsburg EMS and Warren County Sheriff’s Department responded to the location. An on-scene physician pronounced the individual deceased.

The 15 year old was found suffering from head trauma. The Johnsburg Rescue Squad and Warren County EMS transferred the patient to Life Flight for transportation to Albany Medical Center.

The New York State Department of Labor was also involved in the investigation of these two scenarios.

The Lies trail is rated for experts only, while Cloud is an intermediate trail. Both runs were groomed by mountain staff prior to opening.

At about 9:12 a.m. the Warren County Emergency Communications Center received a report of a subject unconscious on a ski trail at the Gore Mountain Ski Center located in the Town of Johnsburg. The ski center is operated by the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority.

Michael P. FitzGibbons, age 56, of Poughkeepsie, New York was skiing on Lies Trail when a skiing companion saw him go off the trail into a wooded area. Ski patrols responded to the call for assistance and found the victim unconscious. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

It has not been determined whether the death was the result of a natural cause or a skiing accident. A forensic examination will be performed to specifically identify the cause of death.

The inquiry is being handled by Investigator Edward G. Affinito and Patrol Officer Harry R. Spahn. The NYS Department of Labor also has oversight authority with respect to ski operations, and their staff was on scene conducting a parallel investigation.

ORDA have been cooperating with law enforcement officials in conducting the inquiry and will be providing a press release to news media outlets.